The objective of this thesis report is to highlight the issues associated with CADD to business managers that have had little or no experience with technical computing. Often managers have submissions put to them requesting the purchase of computing software and hardware without having the means. to assess the submission's worth in line with the firm's business objectives. After reading this thesis report, it is hoped the manager will have the means to make a sound judgement, having regard to all the relevant issues.
The thesis report begins by describing the history of CADD from its beginnings with the birth of the computer in 1947, to the integrated workstations of today. It then looks at the factors associated with the external environment, in terms of competitors, suppliers and regulators. The major area, the internal environment, is addressed by considering structure, culture and resources - human, operations, marketing, financial and information systems. In the financial area actual costs, based on the author's experience, are set out for analysis.
The issues are brought together in Chapter 6 to assist managers to think strategically about how CADD can enhance business performance. A look into the future is provided to highlight where strategic business opportunities may exist.
Finally the thesis report presents clear recommendations on how managers can make CADD work for them. The points made are drawn from other's hard earned experiences (researched from the extensive references), the author's own experience and from discussions with CADD practitioners.
The major recommendations to management are:-
• take back "ownership" of the technology by understanding it
• withhold capital purchases until orders are won
• get the most out of existing computer systems
• CADD will change the way people do things - plan for it
• CADD is only a tool, therefore sell benefits not technology
• CADD, although only a tool, is an essential tool
• do not be a technological leader
• plan for a technological life expectancy of three to five years